1 LORD, you were favorable to your land; you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
2 You forgave the iniquity of your people; you covered all their sin. Selah
3 You withdrew all your wrath; you turned from your hot anger.
4 Restore us again, O God of our salvation, and put away your indignation toward us!
5 Will you be angry with us forever? Will you prolong your anger to all generations?
6 Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?
7 Show us your steadfast love, O LORD, and grant us your salvation.
8 Let me hear what God the LORD will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints; but let them not turn back to folly.
9 Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him, that glory may dwell in our land.
10 Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other.
11 Faithfulness springs up from the ground, and righteousness looks down from the sky.
12 Yes, the LORD will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase.
13 Righteousness will go before him and make his footsteps a way.
What's Your Song?
Here we have a song by the Sons of Korah. Have you ever asked yourself who these guys were? According to Numbers 16:1, Korah was “the son of Izhar, son of Kohath.” In Numbers 4:2-3, it tells us that the Lord set aside able-bodied “sons of Kohath from among the sons of Levi ... from thirty years old up to fifty years old ... to do the work in the tent of meeting.” The chapter goes on to describe their specific duties in the tabernacle, along with those of the sons of Gershon and the sons of Merari.
Now that we have that settled, let’s look at this song of theirs.
Notice first off:
Their Praise vv. 1-3
Who in his right mind would not give God praise after doing what He did for them—"forgiving iniquity, covering ALL their sin." As if that's not enough, verse three says, God withdrew "ALL" His wrath and did an about-face in His anger toward them.
But, as is the case with them and with us, our sinful nature rears its ugly head.
Notice verses four through six:
Their Petition vv. 4-6
They, like us, fell back into sinful habits needing to be "Restored." Another word for restored could be "Revived." I am so thankful that I was born after Christ's death and resurrection, aren't you? Think about it, no longer do we have to make a trip to the Temple every year or so in order to sacrifice an animal in our place. Christ has done it once for all: "He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself." (Hebrews 7:27)
Sprinkled into the remaining verses of this section are questions about God's anger. The bottom line of verses five and six, "God, will you be angry at us forever, will you pass your anger to the following generations?
For the believer surrendered to practicing confession God's way, I find the answer today is a resounding NO! Even in the Old Testament, a person received forgiveness when he acknowledged his sin and God's Holiness. Listen to the words of David a few psalms over in Psalm 103:12: "as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us." But he doesn't stop there: verse 13 "As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him."
Let me leave you today with the writer’s petition in verse 6: "Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?"
More next time...
Blessing on your Journey,